Monthly Archives: November 2008

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Black Friday: Be Prepared.

black-friday-spreeOkay, we’re less than 36 hours away from go time. Only one stop in turkey-ville left before it’s off to hit as many stores as you can possibly get to in one day. Here are a few major tricks to making your black friday a massive success.

1.       Make a List. If you haven’t done this already – stop. Make a list of everyone you’re buying for this Christmas. This step will save you from entering the “how many aunts do I have again?” phase. Put the big item or must-get-this people at the top of your list so you don’t get caught with 40 scarves and no Wii for little Freddy!  Also, if you have a Christmas get-together early in December, you may want to think about getting those items early on as well.

 

2.       Get one of those coupon holder books or a binder. This can hold your main shopping list, store circulars, coupons, kid sweater sizes, all the info you’ll need. If you get a binder and are into the whole hyper-organizational thing, you could put tabs in and alphabetize. Whatever floats your boat.

 

3.       Research. Compare circular ads with online ads and find out if stores will price match. You might also make yourself a list of store hours. This can save you hours and may even allow you to “sleep in” until 6 or 7am. Unless you’re like me, that is, and just get out to watch the crazies!

 

4.       Strategize. Once you are armed with knowledge, map out your strategy. If there is something you MUST have, place that at the top of your agenda and then map things out around that. My advice: if the doorbuster deal isn’t crucial, skip it and go get coffee (or head to the other things on your list)!

 

5.       Buy Local. Buy Handmade. My favorite gifts have often been really cool artisan pieces or things that only come from a certain city/region. Plus, you’re giving the local economy a big boost. And you’re helping take care of a starving artist (like me)!

 

6.       Finally, Relax. I swear to you that it will not be the end of the world if you miss out on that mega-super-early bird-special. Have fun and laugh at the crowds if you must. Remember what Mrs. Reeves taught you in pre-school: Don’t shove or cut. It only makes people want to hurt you. Go ahead and spread a little Christmas cheer while you’re out there.

 

 

 

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Black Friday History {PLUS, the scoop on handmade sales}

Black Friday. What the heck?! Why does such a wonderful day have such a downer name? My walking pop culture encyclopedia (a.k.a. my husband) tells me it’s because that is the day when stores make most of their yearly profits, therefore, putting them “in the black”. Well, upon further investigation, here’s what I found.

The term “black friday” originated in Philadelphia in the mid-sixties by disgruntled police officers trying to direct traffic on the day after Thanksgiving (which unofficially marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season). Most retail stores didn’t fully embrace the term until the 1980’s when the not-so-negative “in the black” explanation was presented. Regardless of where the term came from, it is a day of pure madness and elation for every fashionista across the US.

In honor of the big day, here are a few Indie shops with great sales (yes, handmade goods on sale). And keep checking in, there are a truck load more to come tomorrow!

freyjaglasswear

 

 

Freyja Glasswear

parallax

 

 

Parallax Photography

charlieandsarah

 

 

 

Charlie and Sarah

pinkpolishdesign1

 

 

Pink Polish Design

melissakate

 

 

Melissa Kate

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Over the Weekend: Diffraction

over the weekend

What do you get when you mix fine art photography with a dash of funky and garnish it with loads of style?  This week’s Qe “it girl”, of course! Beth Cummings of Diffraction jewelry explains what a typical weekend looks like for her. Get ready to fall in love!

 diffraction-fingerprint

QUiD: Describe your most memorable weekend for us.

Beth: Recently my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary and he planned the most amazing weekend for the two of us and it was all a complete surprise! (which is pretty incredible since he is incapable of keeping a secret) He and I both love taking road trips, just taking off and seeing new places in a slower more intimate way. So, we drove to Milwaukee and visited the art museum there which was having this AMAZING interactive art exhibit and we stayed in a beautiful Bed and Breakfast on a sustainable farm. Just a wonderful romantic weekend!

Qe: What is your favorite thing about the weekends?

Beth: Sleep! I love sleeping in and waking up with no agenda and no where I HAVE to go. Just lazing around in bed with my husband and then making pancakes or waffles or something. It’s the best time to rejuvenate! And in Chicago there are always a million different street festivals and events that are completely free to take in and wander through.

Qe: What do you do creatively over the weekend?
Beth: The weekend tends to be the time I most often take the photographs that then eventually appear in my jewelry. Whether on a roadtrip or just running around town I always carry along my camera, you never know what great shot you might see!

Qe: Where is your favorite place to go/shop on the weekends?
Beth: Well, if there is a craft fair I’m there! I love shopping handmade and seeing all the new and creative items artists are coming up with. It’s great meeting and talking with the people who make the products you love and seeing the time and dedication and creativity that go into them just by talking with them about their passions.

Qe: What/where do you like to eat on weekends?
Beth: Two guilty pleasures that only happen on the weekends. One, Kitch’n on Roscoe, it’s this AMAZING retro dinner with fantastically modern takes on traditional breakfast. I’m physically unable to pass up their Crab Cakes Benedict with spicy Cornbread hash. It’s to die for. (My husband loves their cult hit Fried Chicken and Waffles with an ancho honey bbq sauce) Two, Hot Doug’s, this addictive gourmet hot dog place with crazy combinations and duck fat french fries. Eat there, your life will change.

Qe: What’s the best place you’ve ever visited on the weekend?
Beth: A few years back we decided to take a roadside attractions roadtrip around Illinois and Wisconsin. We saw a lot of really strange things and above all my favorites were the Robot Museum in the Wisconsin Dells and the giant pink elephant wearing glasses sculpture that is featured in some of my jewelry. I just love seeing all the weird attractions like the Largest Ball of Twine or Circus Museum. It’s such a rich collection of offbeat Americana.

Qe: Tell us a bit about your wares.

Beth:  I started Diffraction in May 2008 as a way to combine my fine art photography with jewelry in order to share it in a smaller more accessible way. The images are printed directly on a thick plastic and hand cut and shaped. I take pride in the intricate cutouts featured in some of the fruit and leaf pieces. I create all my pieces in my home studio in Chicago. It’s the perfect little space!
otw-diffraction

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Freebie Friday

It’s only one week before the infamous “black friday” or “cyber monday” depending on when and how you shop! I have to say…the husband and I have a tradition of getting up at 5am and heading to the stores. Mainly to watch the fighting that ensues over the last set of limited edition, one of a kind, only gonna find it here legos. Sure, you don’t even know a kid to give ‘em to, but who cares. They’re limited edition.

If getting pummelled by every mom in america isn’t your cup of tea, take a look at some of the sales going on this week at etsy. And keep your eyes open, I may even do a special edition of freebie friday in honor of the holiday (yes, in my mind, black friday is a holiday)!

{Free Shipping Offers}

craftsty

 

 

pinque-chocolate

 

 

{Buy One Get One Free}

duo-banner

Cute little earrings make great gifts!

 

 

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Moc Madness

Apparently I’m on a baby kick. Or I’m just loving all things tiny. I’ve had this idea for a pair of baby shoes bumbling around in my head for a while and last night I couldn’t contain myself any longer. Here is the result! I’d love to hear any ideas or feedback!

baby moc

baby moc

Moc ad

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Over the Weekend: PINaR ERIS

weekendblogheader-copy1

I am so excited about today’s feature I can hardly stand it! You are about to meet one of my favorite fashion designers. No kidding. I “met” her last year while browsing for some street fashion inspiration and I can’t believe she offered to let me interview her!

Born and raised in Turkey, now living in Los Angeles, this avant-garde designer is about to knock your socks off! Without further adieu, say hello to Pinar Eris.

***************************************************************************************

QUiD: Tell us about your most memorable weekend.

 

PINaR: Last weekend I went to Seattle for one of my friend’s birthdays. It was a fun Karaoke night with some good friends. It was great that the weather was awesome as well In Seattle over the weekend! After [living in] California I realized how much I missed cold weather so I could wear some thicker clothes. It feels cozy. :)

Qe: What is your favorite thing about the weekends?

P: Honestly I don’t have a weekend psychology like a person who has full time job over the weekdays. I am self employed so I can have my weekend whenever I want, however weekends are great because I have a chance to meet with my friends who have full time jobs.

Qe: What do you do creatively over the weekend?

P: It all depends my mood . Sometimes I work, sometimes I take classes, sometimes I go to different kinds of events to get inspired, or just sit at home and spend time on the computer to search etc.

Qe: Where is your favorite place to go/shop on the weekends?

P: I don’t prefer to go shopping over the weekend because everywhere is sooo crowded :)

Qe: What/where do you like to eat on weekends?

P: In summer time I love to go Venice Beach boardwalk, spend time with friends, eat some food and drink cold beer or a red wine :)

Qe: What’s the best place you’ve ever visited on the weekend?

P: Last year Yosemite national park was great experience. I loved it!

Qe: Finally, tell us a bit about PINaR ERIS and how you got started.

 P: I sell under my label PINaR ERIS. My designs are fun to wear and unique women’s wear & hats. I launched my first collection like 3-4 years ago and since then I [have been] creating. Other than my collections, when I have time I also do custom made clothing for special events. Check my items when you have time, I guess the best description is what you will see. :)

pinareris1

pinareris2

pinareris3

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Baby Bon Bon

I am now fully convinced that inspiration can come from anywhere. I mean anywhere. While standing in the checkout lane of the local Garden Ridge with my mom, my eye was captured by a plastic tub filled with discount bon bons of the most delightful colors.

Now, I’m definately not the type who gets excited or even thinks about babies, but these colors simply begged me to explore childhood fancy. Take a peek at this neopolotan-inspired world I’ve crafted just for you (or your little one).
bon bon room

Featured clockwise from top left: 1. Joan Theodore print at ttgart; 2. Raspberry Cream Cake Baby Satchel at Posh Tots; 3. Bratt Decor Cradle, Baby Box; 4. Cotswold Chair, Anthropologie; 5. Fruiteria Lamp, Anthropologie; 6. Crown Coconut Bon Bons, Crown Candy.

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Really?!?

Unbelievable! It has been much too long since my little fingers have tapped out even a teeny note to you all! Please forgive my very justifiable discrepancy. The show is over, quite literally, and life is slipping back into something somewhat akin to normalcy. I couldn’t be more delighted.
To celebrate what can only be considered a scrumptious wonderland of an art show, here is a handful of eye candy from the event. If only I hadn’t forgotten my camera during the show itself!

a world of wonder
necklace cabinet

necklace cabinet

baubles n things

baubles n things

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Over the Weekend: Greenbelts

Wow! I’ve had an overwhelming time choosing this week’s featured etsian. I find so many great shops and meet so many talented sellers sometimes it’s incredibly difficult. And wonderfully exciting!

So, here she is…an uber-talented upcyclist reclaiming the art of tough girl chic. Meet Seattle artist and self-proclaimed child wrangler, Shannon Ritscher of Greenbelts.

QUiD: Describe your most memorable weekend (recent or just a fun one you remember). 
Shannon:
 Well, this was before I started making my Greenbelts but one of my more memorable weekend experiences happened on a date I once had (many moons ago). It started out at the ocean, flying kites. The pacific ocean is about 2 hours west of Seattle. After lunch we left the ocean, drove up to the Cascade mountains (about 2 hours east of Seattle) and went night snowboarding. We got back home just before midnight. All on one Saturday.

QE: What is your favorite thing about the weekends?
SR:
50% off sales at the Goodwill, Value Village and the Salvation Army.

QE: Hehe! Mine too! What do you do creatively over the weekend?
SR:
Recharge.

QE: Where is your favorite place to go/shop on the weekends?
SR:
Any second hand store that I can get my hands on.

QE: What/where do you like to eat on weekends?
SR:
We have a family friendly pub just down the street from our home. It’s in the industrial area of Seattle. Planes fly so low over the place that you can count the bolts on the underside of the body. I love to go there, sit back, eat a hummus plate or slice of pizza, drink a hard apple cider, listen to some good music, let Henry (my son) run around and chat with my neighbors. That’s my fave.

QE: Tell us a bit about your goods. What you make, how you got started, all the details! 
SR: Greenbelts are dog & cat collars, cuffs (both wrist and ankle), leashes, belts, and boot chains all made from recycled belts.

In 2003, I had a child, left my corporate design job, became a freelance graphic designer and was lost without a “steady” income/job. I’ve been a graphic designer for over a decade but I really wanted to create something with my hands. One day I found a fabulous thick studded leather dog collar that was like no other I’d ever seen and my dream started germinating. I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with recycling for many years and when I held that collar in my hands I knew I could make it’s equal (or better!) out of recycled materials.



A big “thank you” to Shannon for sharing a bit of her world with us! If you’re interested in being featured on QUiDessential, give us a shout! We love meeting new artists and expanding our world of creative friends! 

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